Hair problems are considered one of the main subjects that concern most women out there. Many of us have wrong information about the health of our hair, and that’s why Prof. Dr. Mai El-Samahy, dermatology professor at Ain Shams University, and active member in the Egyptian Women Dermatology Society, tells us how to care for our hair, while straightening out some of the misconceptions we might have. 

Given your years of practice and experience in the field of hair care, what advice would you give to women?
There are lots of simple and easy tips to follow:
1. At first, you have to take care of your health and nutrition by eating more fruits and vegetables, because good health provides good and healthy hair.
2. Keep your hair clean by regularly washing it.
3. Treat your hair properly, don’t overuse the hair dryer and hair iron, and avoid dying it too frequently.
4. Avoid spending too much time in direct sunlight.

A lot of women around the Middle East suffer from hair loss. How do you advise them to treat such a problem?
There are different kinds of hair loss, some are due to physiological causes others are due to illness, which is related to a type of food or deficiency of vitamins. However, the most common reason for hair loss is hair breakage.  For treating this type of hair loss, I recommend using Pantene Pro-v  Anti Hair Fall line-up, with its shampoo, conditioner and oil replacement. For complete protection against hair breakage, it’s recommended to use Hammam Cream at least once a week.

What’s your advice to women when choosing hair care products?
In our markets, there are lots of international products that provide a healthy routine that helps us take care of our hair. One of the most prominent of which and the most effective is Pantene Pro-V. I advise all women to choose a brand that has a collection to help you maintain a healthy routine like Shampoo, Conditioner, Oil Replacement and Hammam Cream. This routine caters to most of the daily problems your hair faces. The new formula protects the hair from breakage, dryness and loss of its shine by coating each cuticle with a protective layer from heat, moisture and cold weather. The new Pantene collection contains ingredients that treat damaged hair and help it regenerate its strength and shine.

It’s very common that our hair gets weaker in winter, especially around the holiday seasons where we tend to dress it repeatedly. What do you advise women to do during that period?
Cold weather, decreasing humidity and hair dressing equipment are all factors that harm the hair and skin and make them loose their moisture. It’s very important to be careful and constantly moisture our skin and hair through using; moisturizing cream and conditioner with each wash – it’s recommended that you use the Hammam Cream at least once a week.  I also recommend using Pantene Oil Replacement as it acts as a protective layer and moisturizer for the hair to be left in from one wash till the next.

What are the factors that inflict the most harm to our hair?
1. Too much sunlight...
2. Not eating properly (particularly vegetables and fruit).
3. The presence of a medical illness that hasn’t been treated.
4. Too much chemicals such as hair dyes.

Most women in our society and the Middle East prefer long hair. What is your advice to them to maintain a shiny, undamaged and free from split ends hair?
There are several tips, such as: avoid direct sunlight and salty water… and of course there is the important tip about choosing a type of shampoo suitable for her hair type. Following through a healthy routine including a moisturizing conditioner, hair mask and oil replacement after showering. Last but not least, I strongly advise cutting down on hair straighteners, hair dressing equipment and dyes as much as possible.

In the past women used to wash their hair using only shampoo hoping to see noticeable improvement regarding their hair’s health. In your opinion what is the importance of committing to a daily routine for hair care?
Exactly like caring for the skin or teeth, our hair needs to be cared for daily. We need to wash it, use moisturizing conditioners, and care for it using oils and masks. With each wash we have to use a conditioner not just shampoo. The conditioner is important as it facilitates combing the hair after showers. If you try combing it with a brush without using a conditioner beforehand, it could be too harsh and harmful to your hair where you could increase its breakage or damage to its ends. We also need to provide sufficient protection to our hair by using an oil replacement that strengthens the cuticle and forms a coat that protects it till the next wash. Last but not least, it’s recommended that you use Hammam Cream at least once a week.

In the Arab world we are used to sticking to our ancestors’ customs and long-applied solutions when it comes to caring for our hair. In your opinion, do the new Pantene Pro-V Oil Replacement and Hammam Cream provide an advanced alternative to these old traditions?
Absolutely, we are considered luckier than our mothers and grandmothers in this aspect. Hair product line-ups such as conditioners, oil replacements and Hammam cream are readily available in supermarkets nowadays. Similar to looking for new technologies in our daily lives, we need to believe in the revolution that Pantene Pro-V has accomplished through developing this unique and effective formula that provides all that our hair needs to be healthy and shine brightly.